Guide for Innovative and Creative Minds

  

Protection expired?

Protective rights are for a limited time only, except for trademark rights which can be renewed indefinitely in Switzerland. Patent protection lasts a maximum of 20 years, designs protection 25 years. Copyrights last 70 years after the author's death, or 50 years in the case of computer programs.

Even if you don't have registered rights, there are other laws to help against counterfeiters. The federal law against unfair competition protects primarily against a conduct of business which is contrary to good faith-practices or immoral. Unfair and illegal are acts such as deceiving and misleading consumers. If this is the case, the unfair competition law can be used to fight against counterfeiting and imitations.
A cloud on the horizon: Prosecution claims based on the Law on Unfair Competition are usually complicated and expensive. In contrast, registered trademarks, patents, and design rights are much simpler to enforce.

  
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